About Russ

The-BugWelcome to my site of exciting, colorful, and whimsical paintings.

I have spent my lifetime exploring the vast diversity of experiences I have encountered during my journey. I am honored to share the visual imagery of some of my encounters.

First, a bit about my background.

As a kid, I had the good fortune to experience all the four seasons in depth. I grew up in Hopkins, (Snikpoh spelled backwards) Minnesota. My backyard was a sizable swamp and large wooded area to explore along with a lake 1/2 mile away. As much as possible, I spent my days outdoors: hunting turtles, fishing, swimming,  playing backyard baseball, football, hockey, and bicycling, along with pulling pranks, and creating and enjoying long winter sled runs with sharp, icy corners. When not outdoors, I spent my time doing projects and listening to music. I built everything from elaborate turtle mazes to model airplanes and ships to go-carts and tree forts. The diversity of my experiences gave  me my love for outdoor life and nature that would surface years later in my paintings.


After a stint in the U.S. Army, and a year in Vietnam, I went to San Diego City College where I received degrees in Fine Art and Commercial Art, but Minnesota kept calling to me. Returning to Minnesota, my creative urge and my love for fishing combined to create and produce Lakemaps, the first graphics design business in Minnesota making usable plastic contour depth maps of fishing lakes. Twenty-two years, raising 3 Sons, and over 3,000 maps later, I needed a change.  I sold my business. After driving my wife crazy, I enrolled  in a watercolor art class. That experience  returned me full-time to my passion of painting. For the last 12 years I have been having a blast displaying my work at the Summer Art Festivals, meeting fabulous patrons, teaching Watercolor and Acrylic painting, and making prints and note cards for hundreds of other Artists.  In the Spring of 2015, I worked with Dani, a Make-A-Wish child creating a painting for her Make-A-Wish Art project that was based on the “BBC Sherlock” series. The painting was auctioned off for the Make-A-Wish fund raiser.

I create my art with color and the feel of fun. My range of subjects is broad and is as diverse as our environment, everything from farm animals, and our many diversified landscapes to abstract interpretations of nature. I give  my Artwork whimsy full license and specialize in watercolor and acrylic paintings, collages, and murals with highly engaging  vivid and novel color combinations. The result is an intensity that captivates and speaks directly to viewers of all ages, usually with a smile.



Russel J Dittmar